Monday round-up: Profiling John Nordstrom; Richard Sherman audio; Seahawks Mt. Rushmore

Seahawks insider Tony Ventrella talks with two of the newest members of the Seahawks, Luke Willson from Canada and Jesse Williams from Australia.

Good morning, and I hope everyone had a good Father’s Day weekend. Here’s what’s “out there” for today, Monday, June 17, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has a position-by-position breakdown of where the Seahawks stand heading into training camp, offering his own comfort level (on a scale of one to 10) on how comfortable fans should feel with each group.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune profiles former Seahawks owner John Nordstrom, which provides some very interesting background on the start of the franchise.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com has a look at three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out now that the Seahawks have wrapped up Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp workouts. O’Neil also says free safety Earl Thomas might be “the best player” on the team.

Brent Stecker of 710Sports.com recaps cornerback Richard Sherman’s weekend appearance on The John Clayton Show. You can listen to the podcast of Sherman with Clayton here:

Curtis Crabtree, writing for the Associated Press, details how third-round draft pick Jordan Hill and fifth-round draft pick Jesse Williams are fitting in along Seattle’s defensive line.

NFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a closer look at what might happen if the Seahawks need to make a switch to their backup quarterback – Tarvaris Jackson or Brady Quinn. Sando also has his NFC West-chat transcript from Friday here.

You, the readers of Seahawks.com, voted former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck as the fourth head on a Seahawks-themed Mount Rushmore, as he joined consensus mountain-locks Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones. It was an exercise precluding one over at ProFootballTalk.com, where former running back Shaun Alexander recently beat out Hasselbeck, Mike Holmgren and the 12th Man as the mountain’s fourth face in their “Faces of the Franchise” feature.


Seahawks react to official end of Offseason Program

Thursday’s final minicamp session marked the end of the club’s official Offseason Program. Break for team veterans begins tomorrow, but the rookies will report for workouts next week, with the coaches break beginning shortly after that.

At the end of today’s camp, several Seahawks players took to Twitter to voice the success they’ve enjoyed throughout spring workouts:

https://twitter.com/willblackmon/status/345331741067706368


Thursday in Hawkville: That’s a wrap on the offseason program

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Club for June 13, when the Seahawks wrapped up their offseason program by concluding their mandatory three-day minicamp:

FOCUS ON: SPRINGING FORWARD  

Three minicamp practices. Nine OTA sessions. Almost two dozen non-OTA workouts. And five players who excelled, from almost start to almost finish.

In honor of the offseason program ending today for the veterans, and taking a huge step in that direction for the rookies, we decided to check in with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to get their informed-plus opinions on which players had outstanding springs.

Darrell Bevell, Percy HarvinBevell opted for two new players, who bring elements an already good offense didn’t have – Percy Harvin, who was acquired in a March trade with the Vikings; and Luke Willson, who was selected in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft.

Harvin is a receiver, but also a runner, and that versatility – not to mention the productivity he provided the past four seasons in Minnesota – will complement the contributions of All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch, Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson and wide-outs Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. Willson is a 6-foot-5, 252-pound tight end who has more speed than anyone that size should. That speed allows him to exploit matchups with linebacker and strong safeties, and his arrival also softens the loss of incumbent backup Anthony McCoy, who tore an Achilles tendon in the first OTA session.

“With the other guys, we know what you have,” Bevell said. “And they’ve all done a great job. But Luke and Percy are new and it’s been good to see how their talents are going to blend in.”

Harvin missed some time because of injuries, but as Bevell put it, “You could see what he brings whenever he was on the field.”

Quinn, in his first year as the D-coordinator, went with a proven commodity – All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas; and a couple of young linebackers – Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.Earl Thomas

“With Earl, it’s the focus he has and his mindset,” Quinn said. “He has completely captured what we’re trying to do. It just leaps out at you and I’ve been totally impressed.”

Right on cue, Thomas forced and recovered a fumble during the scrimmage-like session that ended today’s final minicamp practice.

“Bobby has put the work in,” Quinn said of Wagner, the middle linebacker who led the team in tackles as a rookie last season. “He’s doing the things when no one is watching – studying video, putting in the extra work in the weight room and the meeting room.”

Wright finished second to Wagner in tackles last season while playing on the strong side. This spring, he has been working on the weak strong, and continuing to make strong contributions.

“K.J. just continues to jump out,” Quinn said.

ALMOST LIVE

Coach Pete Carroll ended practice with a scrimmage-like drill, and the players appreciated the opportunity to show what they’ve accomplished this spring.

“It’s fun,” Wilson said. “It was a nice way to finish it.”

The second-year QB led the only touchdown drive, capping it with a 3-yard scoring pass to second-year tight end Sean McGrath. They also set up the TD, as McGrath made a falling grab of a 24-yard pass from Wilson against tight coverage from linebacker Korey Toomer. Wilson also directed a nine-play, 42-yard drive, but Steven Hauschka’s 51-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright. Backup QB Brady Quinn led a drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal by Carson Wiggs.

But the defense also had its moments, as cornerback Will Blackmon intercepted a Quinn pass that was intended for rookie wide receiver Chris Harper to go with Thomas’ bang-bang play where he forced and then recovered a fumble.

ROOKIE WATCH: JORDAN HILL AND JESSE WILLIAMSJordan Hill, Dan Quinn, Jesse Williams

The coaches keep asking more from the defensive linemen that were selected in the third (Hill) and fifth (Williams) rounds of April’s draft, and the rookies just keep on delivering.

“They’re real different,” Carroll said. “Jesse is a 329-pound kid and strong as an ox. We see Jordan as much quicker and shiftier, and a very, very good technique player. He has really good leverage and hand placement. He’s exciting.”

Since joining the team for the rookie minicamp in May, Jordan has worked at both the three-technique and nose tackle spots in the both the base defense and nickel defense; while Williams has played both tackle spots as well as the five-technique end position in the base defense.

Today, Jordan got extensive work with the No. 1 line, while Williams got his turn to work with the starters on Wednesday.

“We have moved them around,” Carroll said. “That versatility helps. Both kids are really smart and they get it, and they have really good work ethic. … It’s very exciting that those guys have come in and we think they can add unique dimensions for each one of them.”

PAUL ALLEN TAKES IN PRACTICE

Owner Paul Allen watched part of today’s practice from the sideline.

“It was good to see the owner out here,” Carroll said. “Mr. Allen came out and saw us work on the last day, and it looked like he was having a good time, too.”

Also on hand were former quarterbacks Jim Zorn, the team’s original QB (1979-84) who also coached the position (2001-07); and Hall of Famer Warren Moon, who played two seasons with the Seahawks (1997-98) and is now the analyst for the team’s radio broadcasts.

MARSHAWN LYNCH HIGHLIGHTED IN TOP 100 OF 2013

NFL Network’s countdown of the Top 100 Players of 2013 continued this evening with the unveiling of players ranked No. 30-21. The Seahawks’ Beast Mode back earned a mention at No. 24 on the list.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I think the biggest thing is just to be consistent. Be clutch. And try to dominate. When the game’s on the line, just help our football team win. I think that’s the biggest thing as a quarterback, be a great leader, have attention to detail and have that relentless competitive nature every day. I think that’s the biggest thing I can bring to the table, in terms of practicing and in games.” – Wilson when asked about his goals for the 2013 season


ESPN.com: Seahawks earn an A for offseason moves

Percy Harvin

Wide receiver Percy Harvin during Seahawks Organized Team Activities

Matt Williamson likes what the Seahawks have done this offseason to strengthen an already solid roster that includes All-Pro players in running back Marshawn Lynch, free safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Richard Sherman and center Max Unger, as well as five Pro Bowl selections – quarterback Russell Wilson and left tackle Russell Okung, in addition to Lynch, Unger and Thomas.

Williamson provides a comprehensive look at each team in the NFC at ESPN.com while handing out his grades – with the Cardinals and the Eagles the only other teams earning an A. It’s an Insider feature, so registration and a fee is required to view it. But here’s a sampling of what he has to say about the most-recent moves by general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll:

On the trade to acquire Percy Harvin: “Along with San Francisco, the Seahawks might be the best team in the league – and this offseason only reinforces that notion for me. Adding Harvin as an explosive element to this offense is gigantic. When healthy, he is one of the best players in the league and he was playing at an extremely high level last season before being sidelined with an ankle injury. Seattle will get creative with how it employs him.”

On the defensive additions: “A great defense got even better this offseason. The addition of (Antoine) Winfield, who excels in the slot, against the run and as a blitzer, makes the league’s best secondary very much improved. Seattle lost (Jason) Jones and (Alan) Branch up front, but added (Cliff) Avril, (Michael) Bennett, Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams. Those switches in personnel not only make them younger up front, but also improve the pass rush dramatically with Avril off the edge and Bennett coming from either a standard defensive end position or on the inside in passing situations.”

On the 325-pound Williams, the defensive tackle who was drafted in the fifth round: “On tape, Williams looked like a first-round pick to me, and if medical issues do not slow him down, he could be a very instrumental member of this defensive line. The Seahawks are stacked.”


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Rookie minicamp round-up: Camp Wrap

Rookie Minicamp

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for Monday, May 13, one day after the completion of their three-day rookie minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times profiles quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who took snaps with the No. 1-offense throughout the weekend’s camp.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes from the camp’s conclusion and takes a closer look at the impression Johnson made at camp.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has five early takeaways as camp wrapped up yesterday, including the roles that drafted defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams are expected to fill.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com highlights the two defensive tackles Hill and Williams, noting how the pairs conditioning level kept them a step ahead of the rest throughout the three-day weekend.Defensive Line

O’Neil also has a list of three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out after the weekend’s camp.

Curtis Crabtree of SportsRadioKJR.com has his camp wrap story.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a short report and links on the rest of the teams in the NFC West, each of which closed out their minicamps yesterday afternoon.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has his camp-wrap story on the roles the drafted rookies will fill and his “Hawkville” blog focuses on the 6-foot-2, 202-pound cornerback Tharold Simon, drafted in the fifth-round out of LSU.

Team photographer Rod Mar has 57 photos from minicamp.

And finally, in honor of Mother’s Day yesterday, we compiled the Twitter well-wishes from Seahawks players to all of the hard-working, dedicated mothers out there, and Farnsworth caught up with mothers watching their sons out at the team’s minicamp, as the parents of each drafted rookie were invited out by coach Carroll and general manager John Schneider to spectate the team’s three-day workout.


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Rookie minicamp round-up: Day three

Good morning, and welcome to the final day of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp. Today’s practice gets started at 11:30 a.m., but before we get there, here’s a look at what’s “out there” following Saturday”s session at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times has a closer look at fifth-round draft pick Luke Willson, the Rice tight end that made some impressive plays on day one of camp.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes from day two of camp and profiles fourth-round draft pick wide receiver Chris Harper.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his report from the first two days of camp.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com offers a closer look at fifth-round draft pick Tharold Simon, the 6-foot-2, 202-pound cornerback out of LSU.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has a look at the connection between the pair of defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, and his “Hawkville” blog focuses on the wide receiver Harper.

Lastly, team photographer Rod Mar has several photos from day two of camp here.

We’ll be back with more from Sunday’s practice and media availabilities later this afternoon.


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Rookie minicamp round-up: Day two

Good morning, and welcome to day two of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp.

It was a busy day yesterday here at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, as 67 players turned out for the weekend’s competition. The camp’s roster features a mix of 2013 draft picks, undrafted rookie free agents that have signed or agreed to terms with the club, tryout players, and current Seahawks who are still eligible to participate in the three-day camp.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times outlines yesterday’s work of tight end Luke Willson, the Seahawks’ fifth round draft pick who made quite the impact on his first day in the Pacific Northwest.

Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times highlights the performances of a pair of drafted D-linemen – third-rounder Jordan Hill out of Penn State and fifth-rounder Jesse Williams of Alabama.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com profiles the Seahawks’ top draft pick – running back Christine Michael out of Texas A&M – and his pair of massive biceps.

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com recaps a post-practice conversation with Carroll, where coach was quick to call out the tight end Willson’s standout performance. The entry from Henderson also includes some pre-minicamp comments from general manager John Schneider and video analysis from 710 Sports’ Brock Huard on why the Seahawks made Willson a priority in last month’s draft.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune also focuses on Michael and Willson in his report from day one.

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com has his impressions of the Seahawks’ first day of minicamp, and pegs seventh-round draft pick Michael Bowie – the offensive tackle out of Northeastern State, but who started his college career at Oklahoma State – as one rookie to keep an eye on.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his notes from yesterday’s practice session, including an interesting tactic head coach Pete Carroll used prior to the start of camp, “Wilson’s legacy: Carroll opened a morning staff meeting by showing video of [Russell] Wilson struggling with some of the basics, including center exchanges, during the rookie camp last year. Wilson finished the season with a playoff victory and an appearance in the Pro Bowl. Carroll wanted to put into perspective the first day of rookie minicamp so his coaches wouldn’t get down on a young player for struggling early.”

Shortly before yesterday’s session kicked off, the team announced they had signed seven draft choices and eight undrafted rookie free agents to multi-year deals.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth profiles the second-round pick Michael and his “Hawkville” blog recaps Willson’s day, has a look at the makeup of the camp’s offensive line, and offers a positional breakdown of the camp’s 67-man roster.

Insider Tony Ventrella has his video report from the first day of rookie camp, with a brief introduction and look at each of the team’s drafted rookies.

And finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at the camp’s first practice in photos.

We’ll be back with more from Saturday’s practice and media availabilities later this afternoon.


Seven draft choices, eight undrafted rookies signed

Jordan Hill

Defensive tackle Jordan Hill, selected in the third round by the Seahawks in the 2013 NFL Draft, signed a multi-year contract with the club today

The Seahawks kicked off their three-day rookie minicamp this morning by signing seven of the 11 players they selected in last month’s NFL Draft to multi-year contracts.

Those signed:

DT Jordan Hill (third round)

WR Chris Harper (fourth round)

DT Jesse Williams (fifth round)

TE Luke Willson (fifth round)

G Ryan Seymour (seventh round)

LB Ty Powell (seventh round)

G Jared Smith (seventh round)

Still unsigned: running back Christine Michael, who was selected in the second round; cornerback Tharold Simon, one of the team’s three fifth-round picks; running back Spencer Ware, who was drafted in the sixth round; and tackle Michael Bowie, the last of the team’s four picks in the seventh round.

Also signed to multi-year deals were eight rookies who agreed to terms with the Seahawks after the draft:

WR Matt Austin

OT Alvin Bailey

DE Kenneth Boatright

LB Ramon Buchanan

LB John Lotulelei

S Ray Polk

G Jordon Roussos

LB Craig Wilkins


Seahawks rookies assigned jersey numbers

Christine Michael

Seahawks second-round draft pick RB Christine Michael out of Texas A&M will wear the same number (33) at the pro level that he did in college (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The 11 members of the Seahawks’ 2013 draft class and nine more that agreed to terms as undrafted rookie free agents have been assigned jersey numbers by the club.

Before rushing to the list below, here’s an important note for those of you who may be looking to purchase a customized jersey of your favorite rookie:

These numbers are subject to change prior to the start of the regular season.

For an up to date reference on player jersey numbers, keep an eye on our roster page.

At a glance, running back Christine Michael, tight end Luke Willson, offensive guard Ryan Seymour, and undrafted strong safety Ray Polk are the lucky four who will wear the same number at the pro level (for now) that they did in college. Undrafted linebacker Craig Wilkins, who wore No. 12 at Old Dominion, never even stood a chance at making that transition, as of course that number was retired for you – the 12th Man – back in 1984.

On to the rookies’ jersey numbers, with the number they donned in college displayed in parentheses.

Draft Picks:

#33 – RB Christine Michael, Texas A&M (College #33)
#97 – DT Jordan Hill, Penn State (College #47)
#17 – WR Chris Harper, Kansas State (College #3)
#90 – DT Jesse Williams, Alabama (College #54)
#34 – CB Tharold Simon, LSU (College #24)
#82 – TE Luke Willson, Rice (College #82)
#44 – FB Spencer Ware, LSU (College #11)
#62 – G Ryan Seymour, Vanderbilt (College #62)
#58 – LB Ty Powell, Harding (College #9)
#66 – G Jared Smith, New Hampshire (College #90)
#73 – T Michael Bowie, Northeastern State (College #61)

Undrafted rookie free agents:

#2 – WR Matt Austin, Utah State (College #4)
#78 – T Alvin Bailey, Arkansas (College #67)
#93 – DE Kenneth Boatright, Southern Illonois (College #54)
#47 – LB Ramon Buchanan, Miami (College #45)
#46 – LB John Lotulelei, UNLV (College #55)
#7 – SS Ray Polk, Colorado (College #7)
#65 – G Jordon Roussos, Bowling Green (College #73)
#38 – RB Dominique Whaley, Oklahoma (College #8)
#45 – LB Craig Wilkins, Old Dominion (College #12)


What they’re saying about the Seahawks’ draft

Seahawks 2013 Draft Class

Here’s a cyber-sampling of what some national pundits are saying about the Seahawks’ efforts in the NFL Draft that concluded Saturday and included the selection of 11 players:

Mel Kiper Jr. at ESPN.com. Grade: B

“We can’t forget one very important point: The first-round pick of the Seahawks is named Percy Harvin, and he’s going to have a major impact on this offense in 2013. I (perhaps unfairly) remain concerned about Harvin’s ability to stay healthy, but the stats show he’s been durable. The selection of Christine Michael was a little bit of a luxury pick for me, but they lack that type of explosive back on the roster, so he offers a different look. They needed to add some rotation depth at defensive tackle and accomplished that with Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, though I know a number of teams are concerned that Williams will have durability problems. Michael Bowie could stick as depth at tackle, as could Ty Powell at linebacker. I don’t know that Seattle added a starter among their picks, but they certainly added one in Harvin.”

Chris Burke at SI.com. Grade: B-minus

“Seattle used its Round 1 pick to acquire Percy Harvin, so it had to wait until pick 62 to get working. Actually, the Seahawks’ best decisions came at 137 (DT Jesse Williams) and 138 (CB Tharold Simon). The Seahawks had a roster built to roll the dice a bit in the draft, and that’s just what they did with their first three picks.”

Evan Silva at NBC Sports. Grade: A-minus

“Overview: Per GM John Schneider, the Seahawks spent Thursday night watching Percy Harvin’s YouTube highlight reel after sacrificing the Nos. 25 and 214 picks, and next year’s third-rounder in exchange for the NFL’s premier slot receiver. Understandable. The Harvin acquisition is factored into Seattle’s grade. Schneider finally went on the clock Friday night and simply made picks straight off his board. Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin? Who cares. Michael is the best player. He’s ours. Harvin, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin? We’ll take Harper and his Boldinian skill set. Williams is an immovable beast who makes us better in the trenches. Pick him. Simon is a press-man corner. Perfect scheme fit. Draft him. Late picks were primarily reserved for small schoolers and test freaks. Upside players who don’t hurt you if they bust. The Seahawks have drafted just like this every year under Schneider and Pete Carroll. Seems like it’s working.”

Elliott Harrison at NFL.com, who lists the Seahawks among his “winners.”

“Like the Bengals, the Seahawks picked up a complementary back, nabbing Christine Michael in the second round. Defensive tackles Jordan Hill (third round) and Jesse Williams (fifth round), who was originally projected as a second-round pick but slipped for medical reasons, should help this club immensely up the middle. Oh yeah; don’t forget the club’s “first-round pick”: receiver Percy Harvin.

Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com, who offers grades on each pick.

Round 2, RB Christine Michael. Grade: B-plus. “I love this pick. Yes, he has some off-field issues, but he is a heck of a runner. Does it fill a need? No. But I like it.”

Round 3, DT Jordan Hill. Grade: B-plus. “This is a vintage Seahawks pick. They get it. This is a productive inside player on a team that faced a lot of adversity.”

Round 4, WR Chris Harper. Grade: B-plus. “Physical receiver who can bat aside press coverage and compete well for the ball while flashing solid RAC ability. He profiles as a possession guy for Seattle who could possibly succeed Golden Tate.”

Round 5, DT Jesse Williams. Grade: A. “After the loss of man-mountain Alan Branch from the interior of their DL, the Seahawks could use some additional depth. They get a run-stuffing terror in Aussie/Alabama product Jesse Williams. His knees are iffy for the long term, but he can start giving Seattle productive snaps from Day One.”

Round 5, CB Tharold Simon. Grade: C. “Simon has great height, frame and shows the kind of hip turn to stay with receivers as they get downfield, but with questions on his feet and overall quickness.”

Round 5, TE Luke Willson. Grade: D-plus. “A steady presence in both Old School and the underappreciated Idiocracy, Willson … whoops. Wait a minute. He’s a TE from Rice who must be smart, but who hasn’t shown up on anyone’s draft lists except for, apparently, Seattle’s.”

Round 6, RB Spencer Ware. Grade: C-minus. “A tough, physical runner who also flashes the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Ware faces an uphill climb to make the roster behind Lynch, Robert Turbin and 2nd-rounder Christine Michael.”

Round 7, OG Ryan Seymour. Grade: B-minus. “A competitive blocker who had to face the SEC’s best week in and week out, Seymour could push for a spot given Seattle’s underwhelming guard duo.”

Round 7, OLB/DE Ty Powell. Grade: B. “Powell is somewhat undersized, but has an intriguing mix of speed and explosion. A creative guy like Pete Carroll can probably find a way to maximize Powell’s skills in a sub-package pass rush role.”

Round 7, OG Jared Smith. Grade: B-minus. “A quick, high-motor DT who can be a part of the rotation as Seattle fills the hole left by Alan Branch’s departure.” Note: Someone wasn’t listening. Smith is being moved to guard – a la J.R. Sweezy last year.

Round 7, OT Michael Bowie. Grade: B-minus. “A long and strong tackle who will need a ton of polish; Bowie may be ticketed for the practice squad but could potentially bookend Russell Okung after a few seasons.”


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